There has been a lot of talk about how every computer around the world will move to Arm-based CPUs in the future because of the fact that they can provide connectivity as well as better battery life. However, the problem with Arm CPUs is that they are nowhere near as performing as the Intel or AMD CPUs which is why people say that if you want real performance then Arm is not an option right now. But the world was shaken yesterday, the PC world for sure, by the report that Apple will announce their shift to Arm CPUs for their Macbook lineup as soon as this month at WWDC 2020.
That being said, we have a new report which could not have come at the worst time for Arm market because this new report reveals that there is a new attack being found on Arm CPUs. While the attack is a rare one known as a side-channel one, it is prevalent on such CPUs. This attack has been codenamed as SLS or straight-line speculation and has been revealed by Arm itself.
Speculation is a concept in which “CPUs process data in advance for speed and performance reasons and then discarding the computational branches they don’t need”. But the SLS attack “allows malicious threat actors to leak (steal) these temporary computations and see what the CPU might be working on”.
This means that the processes that are running on the laptop or PC can be revealed and that could be harmful to a lot of reasons. It is worth noting that the first SLS attacks to be ever known to public were Spectre and Meltdown that was so massive and harmful that chip makers had to release updates immediately or tell people to stop using those chips due to the security risks.